Don't fit too much in too little time

Updated: Mar 24, 2019

You probably heard the advice that travel writers and, yes, even travel professionals give: “slow down, get to know the culture, take your time". To me, "slow travel" isn't about moving at a snail's pace or spending weeks in one destination. It is simply avoiding the urge to cram in as much as possible into a short period of time.

All four major Hawaiian Islands in 8 or 9 days; a whirlwind escorted tours of Europe...8 countries in 14 days; Australia, New Zealand and Bora Bora in 10 days. I understand why people feel like they have to squeeze so much into a single visit, but let's really think about this:

Every time you move locations, you have to get up, pack, grab breakfast, transfer to the airport or train station, go through security, wait for your flight or train, fly or rail to the next destination, possibly fight immigration & customs, wait for your luggage, transfer to the next hotel, check-in, find your room and throw your suitcase on the bed. All you really want to do at that point is take a nap! But you can' have to hurry out the door to see everything that awaits in your new location...because you only have 2 days here!

You will burn out. You will be exhausted with no memories of your vacation except for a few photos on your iPhone. The faster you go and the more you do, the less you EXPERIENCE.

And my favorite about slowing down and enjoying your surroundings is that it opens you up to the possibility of experiencing one of those "happy accidents" of travel.

Like the time you take a left turn off the hiking path because that mountain looks like one that needs to be climbed. Or you leisurely stroll the streets of Old Town in Dubrovnik taking in the sites and smells and find a small cozy family restaurant and have the best meal of your vacation that you still talk about till this day. THOSE are the memories you will always treasure!

So slow down! Spend less time in train stations and more time experiencing the place. Destinations are more than check marks on a "bucket list". Instead of seeing things quickly...why not experience them DEEPLY?

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